FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It was just two months ago inside a Fort Edward home when Kaiden Starr Rice’s life changed forever.
She was beaten by her stepmother according to police, and by clinging to life, she survived. Her grandmother shared how the little girl continues to inspire.
“I missed her arms around me saying, ‘I love you, grandma’ and to look at her in the bed not knowing if she was going to live,” said Rice’s grandmother Tammie Waite.
4-year-old Rice was on life support for nearly two weeks before her grandmother Waite received some encouraging news. Tiny, as she calls her, was improving. She survived the beating at the hands of her own stepmother, according to police, that left her skull fractured, and causing a severe brain injury.
Rice today may be tiny but her will is mighty. Glimmers of her sassy spirit reappear as she re-learns to walk, eat, and talk.
“The talking, she’s like baby talk,” Waite explained. “It’s like bye, uh oh.”
The progress is bittersweet.
“The fact that she’s here is the best thing in the world,” Waite said. “The fact that I don’t have my Kaiden that I had before, it hurts.”
She says she wasn’t surprised when police said Rice’s stepmom, Marissa Bickford-Rice, was responsible for Kaiden’s injuries.
She says she noticed marks on Kaiden’s body prior and Kaiden often told her she didn’t want to go back to her father and stepmom’s home.
“I said ‘why don’t you want to go home?’, and she said ‘because my stepmom hits me on the floor,’” Waite said.
Waite says she called CPS. “I had turned things in but to no avail obviously,” she explained.
Looking ahead, Waite hopes and prays Bickford-Rice is punished.
“This is not a slap on the wrist deal,” Waite said. “This was intended. There’s been an issue for a long time.”
Rice’s grandmother wants to thank all those who have donated and helped with fundraisers for Kaiden.